Friday, March 18, 2011

Genesis 11:1-8 | Part III (inductive Q&A)

Inductive questions
1. Can we define where this land was? We don’t know where they were, exactly, but we can see what scholars have had to say on this matter. While the text itself does not lend us to understand where the land is located, it does tell us that men were moving “eastward” (v. 2) so we can begin to make some guesses; perhaps near Mesopotamia? Gill (1746) says this, “This plain was very large, fruitful, and delightful, and therefore judged a fit place for a settlement, where they might have room enough, and which promised them a sufficient sustenance.”
2. Define why they make their own bricks (v. 3) rather than use the materials already provided, by the earth? Again, while the text does not tell us why the nation of peoples did not utilize the stones which were certainly suitable for construction, we can infer what their reasons were. One inference would be that the builders were clearly not interested in seeing their needs supplied or met by God; the One who claimed authority and sovereignty over all from the beginning.
3. What was their theology? Could we infer that they were not mono or polytheistic? Could we infer they were atheistic? Without any historical studies at this point, we could perhaps infer that the settlers were not atheistic. This inference comes from the mere fact that in v. 4 they wanted to construct a tower that reached “to the heavens.” From the fact that heavens were in their language, it is plausible that they acknowledged a deity, be it of a mono or poly nature. However, we could also infer from this that they were a nation of atheistic thought. Perhaps they wanted to reach the heavens to see if a god(s) did exist? And if such a god did exist, was there a heaven that could be found?
4. Define “let us” as used by God in v. 7a. Can we infer this was the work of the Holy Trinity? We cannot see any other references to any other beings that the Lord is making or has made, so it seems only appropriate that the author is pointing to the Holy Trinity. John 1:2 makes the bold claim that, “He was with God in the beginning,” so we could only see this (v. 7) as a substantiation of such a claim.
5. Why does the Lord scatter the people across the earth, rather than wipe them out? Can we infer this is again an attempt to show humanity that God will offer redemption through various means? I see this as a resounding “yes” to the latter part of this question. God is not in the business of wiping people out of the way, at least, not at this point. God truly loves His creation, and He will go to very extreme, extremes, to show us His love, even if that means doing something as seemingly impossible as what He did with the builders.

Gill, J. (1746). Gill’s exposition of the entire Bible: genesis. Retrieved March 13, 2011 from site;

1 comment:

  1. Hello holy hoosier. Somehow I got on your blogger list to my email and there is no way of responding to get off. I do appreciate your good words from the Word, but I get so many emails a day in my job that I try to limit them. Thank you for removing me. Thanks.